Wednesday, May 24
“So the three mighty men broke through.”
2Sa 23:16 NKJV
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF DAVID (4)
David knew how to develop other leaders. He didn’t “use” people to get what he wanted. He recognized their talent, gave them opportunities to serve, then rewarded and honored them. And as a result they were willing to lay down their lives for him. In 2 Samuel 23 we read: “David said with longing, ‘Oh, that someone would give me a drink of the water from the well of Bethlehem’…So the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines, drew water from the well…and brought it to David” (vv. 15-16 NKJV). It’s impossible to learn leadership without actually leading. After all, leadership is action. As leaders our natural tendency is to give others tasks to perform rather than leadership functions to fulfill. But if we don’t delegate leadership—with authority as well as accountability—our people will never gain the experience they need to lead well. If you’re a leader answer this question honestly: Are you providing your people with leadership experiences? “But what if they fail?” you ask. Count on it—they will! But if you’ve picked people with genuine leadership ability, they will learn from it. Dr. John Maxwell writes: “As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to think of myself as a lid lifter. That’s my main function as a team leader. If I can lift the leadership lids for the members of my team, then I’m doing my job. The more barriers I remove for my people, the more likely they are to rise up to their potential.” David developed leaders who became known as “mighty men,” and you must invest in others too.
Thursday, May 25
“These are the last words of David.”
2Sa 23:1 NLT
LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF DAVID (5)
Someday we will all die, and our last words are often considered some of our most important. The question is, have you lived to your highest potential and fulfilled God’s purpose for your life? The Bible says, “These are the last words of David.” What will he tell us? His story is a checkerboard of good and bad, profit and loss, victory and defeat. During David’s lifetime his son raped his daughter, one son killed another, his wife turned her back on him, his friends betrayed him and took his kingdom, his mentor tried to kill him, his family rejected him, and he spent a lot of time hiding out in caves. Now David speaks to us one last time. Will he talk about Goliath? Or Saul? Or Bathsheba? No. “David, the man who was raised up so high…the man anointed by the God of Jacob…the sweet psalmist of Israel, [said], ‘The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his words are upon my tongue. The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me: The one who rules righteously…in the fear of God, is like the light of morning at sunrise…a morning without clouds…the gleaming of the sun on new grass after rain. Is it not my family God has chosen? Yes, he has made an everlasting covenant with me. His agreement is arranged and guaranteed in every detail. He will ensure my safety and success” (vv. 1-5 NLT). Why are these words recorded in Scripture? For the benefit of those of us, like David, who are less than perfect but whose hearts never cease to follow God.